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Sitting at the bottom of his cage

AGS

Strolling the yard
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1/14/20
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Is this always a concern? I know it can be the sign of a very sick bird but are there some cases where it’s normal?

My bird Widget has atherosclerosis although as of his last check up (and bloodwork/x-rays) he seems healthy except for that and chronic giardia. You can see his full thread here: How much hope is there for birds with heart disease?

In short, he was diagnosed with atherosclerosis and was basically on death’s door. However even when he was that bad he still always stayed on his perch. Now he is doing much better although I know it’s impossible to say he’s 100% healthy otherwise so that’s why I’m concerned.

Basically for the past week or so in the morning before I wake up I hear him down there. I can never wake up fully so I don’t know exactly how long he stays down there but he always climbs back up before I wake up. I would guess an hour at most. The first time it happened he was watching me through a spot where his cage wasn’t covered by the sheet. He stays on his perch all night and most of the morning. He’s not usually in his cage more than a few minutes during the day, sometimes he’s at the bottom but usually running around begging to come out of his cage. In the morning when he’s down there I hear him move around. I’m wondering if it’s possible he’s just wanting me to wake up since I have been having trouble sleeping and staying in bed for way later than usual. He also does have a habit of figuring out he can do something then continuing to do it forever. It’s not the first time he’s done that in the 3 1/2 years I’ve had him, (he used to climb down there and run around in the morning wanting me to wake up) but he’s just never done it for a week in a row.

So basically my question is based on that would it be possible he’s just impatiently wanting me to wake up, and also if he really was down there from being sick would there be other symptoms? Is that always a sign of a deathly I’ll bird or can they sometimes do it when they’re just starting to become ill? And wouldn‘t he stay down there for most of the night/morning rather than just an hour or so?

I am scheduling an appointment just to be safe by the way. Currently due to COVID it probably won’t be for another 3 weeks or so unless I need to bring him in as an emergency.
 

Destiny

Sprinting down the street
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Destiny
When you are dealing with a sick bird, they are usually going to stay on the bottom, because they are feeling too ill to perch normally.

It is a serious sign and generally deserves an immediate vet visit, especially when accompanied by other signs of illness, like fluffed feathers, lethargy, closed eyes or "sleepiness", and lack of responsiveness.

It doesn't sound like your bird is acting sick to me.
 

Kassiani

Rollerblading along the road
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I'm afraid I'm not qualified to give you good information, but it does seem as though he just wants to start his day with you :)

I'm glad you have an upcoming appointment just to be sure.
 

Ripshod

Biking along the boulevard
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Linden
(he used to climb down there and run around in the morning wanting me to wake up)
It does 'seem' like an old behaviour returning. But there would be no harm getting him checked out. With atherosclerosis there is no room for complacency - we don't know whether he's climbing down when he wakes or climbing down to sleep.
 

AGS

Strolling the yard
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Messages
117
Thank you all. I also wonder if it may have started up again just because he’s become more used to being at the bottom (when we give him his medicine he climbs down there to run around because he knows that’s the hardest spot to make him step up, and also any time I leave the room he runs around down there screaming and trying to get me to come back).

Tonight when I put him to bed he climbed down there and it really freaked me out. But he was just running around. He climbed back up on his perch but then went on his food bowl and climbed down again. I turned the light on and opened his cage and he climbed out right away so maybe he just wasn’t ready to go to bed. I don’t know honestly. It’s concerning but I always thought of being at the bottom of the cage as a really late symptom, because they‘re not strong enough to hold onto their perch.
 

Kassiani

Rollerblading along the road
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It sounds as though he's not just sitting, though? Is that right? From the way you describe it, he may be at the bottom of his cage but is active while there. Others will correct me if I'm mistaken, but when a bird is very ill and sitting at the bottom of the cage...they are motionless. Puffed up, eyes closed, look to be in distress, sitting at the bottom of the cage. Your Widget sounds as though it is just one of his stops along the way :)
 

Destiny

Sprinting down the street
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Destiny
It is important to be watchful for signs of illness, but it sounds like you are working yourself up over normal activity. There is nothing inherently wrong about a bird going down to the floor occassionally.

The worry starts when they stay down, because that might mean that they are too sick to rise.
 

AGS

Strolling the yard
Joined
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117
Thank you guys. I know it probably is normal but I’m very paranoid after everything that happened. A lot of stuff I ignored as normal changes in behavior but it turns out they were symptoms of illness all along. I was always paranoid but because I knew I had anxiety I’d always convince myself I was worrying over nothing. Now I pay attention to everything that could be a symptom.
 

AGS

Strolling the yard
Joined
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Messages
117
Well I woke up super early this morning and heard him climb down at around 7:15am. Then heard him grinding his beak and going back to sleep. I sort of wonder if it’s related to his perches. Because for a long time he would sleep on the perch at the very top of his cage, then super early in the morning I would hear him climb down then go back to sleep on the lower perch. Now he is actually sleeping on the lower perch at night (he started that when we started his medicine), so maybe he is still just wanting to climb down to take a nap, but there is no lower perch than that. I heard him climb up again later to eat some food, then he climbed down again and was basically running around all morning down there waiting for me to wake up.

Also I did check on him while he was sleeping down there when he climbed down the first time, but he wasn‘t fluffed up or anything.
 
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